Questions remain about State Fair Tragedy
Ten thousand people watched in horror as the stage rigging crashed to the ground in front of them. Some are saying there needs to be tougher state inspection rules and better severe weather contingencies at the Indiana State Fair.
State Homeland Security inspectors are required to make safety inspections of midway rides. But as 13 Investigates discovered, that's not the case with the stage and steel lighting rig that fell Saturday night. No inspections are required.
State Senator James Merritt says he may call for those inspections, but wants to wait until the investigation wraps up.
Even if the stage was properly sent up, witnesses tell us they never should have been in harm's way. And those people are questioning the fair's evacuation policy. We obtained a copy of a one-page plan for hazardous weather.
It says nothing about advance notice or clearing crowds from open air venues.
Witness Jared Harris told us "I believer if there was a written policy for a time frame, we wouldn't have been in the stadium when the stage collapsed."
Michelle Robinson was also in the crowd waiting for the concert to start. "Hopefully they will change the way they do things and prevent a third one. That's the only good thing that can come of it. We can't bring the people back that were lost," she said.
Concert-goers were informed ahead of time which nearby buildings to use for shelter in the event of severe weather. The Fair's director says they thought the storm was farther away and were just about to take the stage to order evacuations when the wind took the stage rigging down.
The state investigation into what occurred and why could take as six months to complete.